Godlike genius, prophet and world famous West Midlander Rik Mayall is dead. Long live Rik Mayall.
Alongside starring in one my most very favourite television comedies (Bottom), and being the best thing on Blackadder (Lord Flashheart), his autobiography Bigger than Hitler - Better than Christ is the single funniest book I ever read, and had a profound and unexpected on my own writing. Rik Mayall has been making me laugh for as long as I can remember laughing, and I know he will continue to do so until I can laugh no longer. CHEERS MAYTE, GRAYTE.
"There's this rule at the BBC that says you can't actually talk properly. You have to pretend to talk the way that people who invented TV 50 years ago used to talk when they were at dinner parties pretending not to swear." - Kevin Turvey, 30 odd years ago, describing 2014 BBC Radio 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kPNwXjgTQrY Man, look at every single one of those fools filming that shit like they're ever gonna watch it back and not just look at it on Youtube or whatever.
Thank goodness they didn't make him twice as tall as he was in RL like they did Tupac...
Eazy-E was resurrected on his 50th birthday last night at Rock The Bells in Los Angeles. Accompanied by protégés Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, he recited his verses from “Straight Outta Compton”, “Boyz-N-The-Hood” and “For Tha Love Of $”.
A Kickstarter project that launched this week wants to put a mic on your wrist, for constant audio monitoring, in a twist on the wearable tech and quantified self movement. The Kapture, as it’s called, pairs with an iOS and Android smartphone app that allows for quick sharing of audio clips recorded by the hardware wristband, which is constantly recording audio to a 60 second, recycling buffer.
The concept might sound somewhat familiar: An app called Heard debuted back in June that records audio in the background, capturing a 12 second buffer by default, or up to five minutes of the very recent past via in-app purchase feature unlocks. The Kapture differs by offering a hardware accessory, which is worn on the wrist, and from which you can flag a clip for saving instantly via a simple tap on the exterior of the device.
The Kapture hardware uses impact-resistant plastic and a silicone strap, with a battery that’s said to last a little over a day. It has a simple multicolor LED notifier, no screen, a vibrating motor and a waterproof, omnidirectional mic built-in. The accessory prototype is connected via Bluetooth 2.1 to your phone, but that’s being changed to Bluetooth 4.0 for production units, and there’s micro USB for charging along with an accelerometer for tracking motion.
Kapture’s founding team includes Mike Sarow, an engineer with over a decade of product manufacturing experience at Procter & Gamble, as well as Matthew Dooley, a marketing guy who knows the right recipe for product placement. The team is seeking $150,000 to get the Kapture off the ground, and is offering backers the chance to get one for a $99 pledge, in either black or white. Different colorways start to become available at the $110 level.
Unlike Heard, Kapture seems quite married to the concept of a set, 60-second audio buffer, so this isn’t going to be a device spies use to make sure they capture every juicy tidbit, and the Kapture folks are positioning it more as a way to make sure those organic memorable moments don’t just fade away into the ether. And the hardware has an advantage over Heard in terms of recording quality and being always in an optimal position to capture conversations.
But there are other issues with the idea, including battery that lasts only a day, as well as building the habit of remembering to tap a wristband thing to record a minute of preceding audio – hardly behavior that comes naturally to anyone. I also can’t help but cringe at the caption on this photo:
The Kapture is an interesting twist on the concept of lifelogging, to be sure, and one that does so with a design that is admittedly not too hard on the eyes, but the truth is that people only have a limited number of wrists and there’s an increasing number of gadgets vying for those, includingsmartwatches from big-name brands like Samsung. The Kapture is unique in design and interesting in concept, but it’s also quite niche. Still, this might be the best way to exploit sound as a social commodity in the end.
Read the original article at Techcrunch
From The Smoking Section:
A woman claims alleged deceased rapper Tim Dog is faking his death to get out of paying $2 million in loans. What’s even more bizarre is newstation WREG’s private investigators have been unable to locate a death certificate for the rapper.
According to the Esther Pilgrim, Tim Dog – born Timothy Blair – conned her out of $32,000. After a victorious court battle, Esther was to receive $100 every month from the rapper until he paid off his debt. She claims the checks stopped coming in after she received a call notifying her of Blair’s death. However, Esther’s not buying it one bit. “Oh, I think there is a great chance that he`s alive,” said the Memphis woman to News Channel 3. “He really thinks he can outsmart everybody.” Esther also claims to have been contacted by 20 people from “around the world,” informing her of his scams. She believes Blair owes upwards of $2 million.
WREG hired their own private investigator to dig into Esther’s claims and the results were shocking to the say the least. According to the station, their investigator was unable to locate a death certificate for Timothy Blair. They were however able to find an active Atlanta address for the deceased rapper. “Active” as of April.
Timothy Blair allegedly died February 14, 2013 of complications from diabetes.
Chris Kelly, one half of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, has died in an Atlanta hospital at the age of 34.
Kelly had been found "unresponsive" at his home on Wednesday, local media reported.
Kris Kross was made up of Kelly, known as "Mac Daddy", and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith. They are most widely remembered for their 1992 hit Jump.
They had performed in February to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the So So Def label that signed them.
The duo, who famously wore their trousers backwards and extra baggy, were just 13 when they were discovered in an Atlanta mall.
A joint statement released on Wednesday by So So Def and Kelly's mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, called him "kind, generous and fun-loving".
'His legacy will live on' "It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Chris Kelly has passed away on May 1," the statement read.
"To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trend-setting, backward pants-wearing one-half of Kris Kross, who loved making music.
"But to us, he was just Chris - the kind, generous and fun-loving life of the party.
"Though he was only with us a short time, we feel blessed to have been able to share some incredible moments with him. His legacy will live on through his music."
Police were called to Kelly's home at around 16:30 local time on Wednesday, from where he was taken to the Atlanta Medical Centre. He was pronounced dead around 17:00.
There was no official confirmation of the cause of death. An autopsy is due to be held on Thursday.
"It appears it may have been a possible drug overdose,'' Cpl Kay Lester, a spokeswoman for the Fulton County police, told the Associated Press.
Debut track Jump was Kris Kross's first and most successful song, leading to instant fame for the teenage duo.
Written by Grammy-winning producer Jermaine Dupri, the single topped the charts in the US and reached number two in the UK in May 1992.
It remained at number one in the US for eight weeks, selling four million copies.
In an interview reprinted on the Billboard website, Dupri remembered the pair being "real fresh" when he first met them.
"People were paying attention. I said, 'If you have that captivation over people right now, if you had a record out, this might be ridiculous.'"
Kris Kross went on to release their multi-platinum debut album, Totally Krossed Out, and subsequently toured with Michael Jackson.
But though they had some success with hits such as Warm It Up and Tonite's tha Night, they were never able to match the huge success of their first song.
Kris Kross released two more albums in the 1990s before Kelly and Smith went their separate ways.
In 2009 reports surfaced that Kelly had cancer. But the singer denied he was ill, claiming he had suffered hair loss because of alopecia.
"My health is good," he said in a TV interview at the time.
Johnny Otis, producer, composer, DJ, talent scout and the Godfather of R&B, has died at the age of 90, reports the L.A. Times.
Born in California in 1921, Otis’s passion for jazz and blues would eventually lead him to discover (and write for) Big Mama Thornton, Hank Ballard, Etta James, Jackie Wilson and Esther Phillips, to name but a few. The success of his 1958 rock’n’roll classic Willie And The Hand Jive resulted in The Johnny Otis Show - Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, The Coasters and Little Richard would all appear.
I remember very distinctly being 8 years old and taping Now That We Found Love off of Westwood's The Essential Rap Selection on Radio 1, and playing the shit out of it.
From the LA Times:
The Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, a blunt-talking preacher who braved beatings, bombings and fire-hosings to push Birmingham, Ala., to the forefront of the civil rights movement and advanced the historic fight with a confrontational strategy that often put him at odds with its most charismatic leader, died Wednesday. He was 89.
Shuttlesworth had been in poor health for the last year and was hospitalized with breathing problems three weeks ago at Birmingham's Princeton Baptist Medical Center, where he died, said family spokeswoman Malena Cunningham.
He was the last of the civil rights movement's "Big Three"; he, along with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957.
In 2004 he tried to revive the venerable civil rights group when it was beset by infighting and financial problems, but was ousted after several months as president when the board rejected his vision of greater activism.
"The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth is the last of a kind," Rep. John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights leader, said in a statement Wednesday. "When others did not have the courage to stand up, speak up and speak out, Fred Shuttlesworth put all he had on the line to end segregation in Birmingham and the state of Alabama."
Although not a household name, Shuttlesworth was as important to the movement as King was, said Diane McWhorter, whose chronicle of Birmingham at the height of the movement, "Carry Me Home," won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.
"Shuttlesworth and King were the two major axes of the SCLC part of the movement," McWhorter said Wednesday. "Shuttlesworth was in the vanguard of direct action, pushing towards confrontation. King was the person who could really deal with white people and was more conciliatory. The two of them together formed a dialectic that drove the movement forward."
By his own count, Shuttlesworth had been bombed twice, beaten into unconsciousness and jailed more than 35 times.
He saw himself as the nemesis of Eugene "Bull" Connor, Birmingham's racist police chief, who returned the animosity. After Connor's men shot the reverend with a fire-hose gun during a melee, sending him to the hospital, Connor told a reporter, "I wish they'd carried him away in a hearse."
Born March 18, 1922, in Montgomery County, Ala., Shuttlesworth moved to Birmingham at age 3, where he lived with his mother, Alberta, and an authoritarian stepfather, William, who had worked in the coal mines until the ore dust ruined his health. Shuttlesworth's combative nature may have developed in reaction to his stepfather, who was known to beat Shuttlesworth, his mother and eight younger siblings. The family grew crops on rented land to survive.
Shuttlesworth managed to attend high school in a better part of town. After graduating as class valedictorian, he worked odd jobs for a few years, including one as a truck driver on an Army Air Forces base in Mobile during World War II.
He joined the Baptist Church in 1944 and by 1947 was studying for the ministry at Selma University. By 1949 he was preaching at Selma's First Baptist Church for $10 a week.
In 1953 he took over as pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham. He was called to a life of social activism the following year, when he was riveted by a newspaper headline on May 17, 1954, announcing that the U.S. Supreme Court had outlawed school segregation in Brown vs. Board of Education. "I felt like I was a man, that I had rights," Shuttlesworth said, recalling his reaction in a 2004 interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
He became an activist in Birmingham, calling for the hiring of African American police officers and joining the voter registration efforts of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People. He also supported the Montgomery bus boycott, led by King, in 1955.
When the state of Alabama essentially outlawed the NAACP in 1956, Shuttlesworth, who had been frustrated with that group's internal politics, started the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights to take direct action to end racial segregation. "This deed first singled him out as the preacher courageous enough or crazy enough to defy Bull Connor," historian Taylor Branch wrote in his chronicle of the movement's early years.
On Christmas night in 1956 Shuttlesworth was laying plans to lead a group into the white sections of buses when about 15 sticks of dynamite exploded outside the parsonage. The blast destroyed his humble quarters but he emerged unscathed from the wreckage. The next day he led 200 people onto Birmingham's buses.
In 1957, he took two of his daughters to enroll in an all-white high school in Birmingham. More than a dozen men with chains, brass knuckles and baseball bats were waiting for him when he drove up. One of the men stabbed his wife, Ruby, in the hip. Shuttlesworth was beaten until he passed out, but he regained consciousness and managed to clamber back into the car, calmly telling the driver not to break any traffic laws as they rushed away.
That year he joined with King and Abernathy to launch the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which became the guiding force of the movement.
Shuttlesworth constantly prodded King to take more aggressive action. "King's attention was pulled in a lot of different directions," McWhorter said. "His public appearances were crucial to raising money for the movement. Shuttlesworth was always trying to bring him back into the work and get him focused on the real campaign."
In 1963 their collaboration culminated in massive demonstrations in Birmingham to pressure downtown department stores to desegregate. Later that year when President Kennedy introduced to Congress the legislation that became the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he told King and Shuttlesworth, "But for Birmingham, we would not be here today."
Shuttlesworth often said that he "tried to get killed in Birmingham" to draw attention to the injustices. His rough-edged approach alienated many of the more bourgeois elements of the movement, but he made no apologies. God, he said after the explosion that nearly took his life, "made me bomb-proof" and blew him into history.
His first wife died in 1971. He is survived by his second wife, Sephira Bailey Shuttlesworth, five children, 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, a great-great grandchild, five sisters and two brothers.
Badgers are basically the Welsh equivalent of racoons, to the uninitiated. Rah though. The world gets more like Brass Eye every day. From The Australian telegraph:
Gordon Ramsay's dwarf porn double Percy Foster found dead in a badger den in Wales.
DWARF porn star Percy Foster who was also Gordon Ramsay 's double has been found dead in the most bizarre of circumstances, according to UK tabloids The Sunday Sport & RadarOnline.com
Percy Foster's 107 centimetre (3'6") body was discovered partially eaten in a badger's den in Wales.
The report says the 35-year-old was found, "deep in an underground chamber by Ministry of Agriculture experts ahead of a planned badger-gassing program."
Investigators have not ruled out the possibility of suicide, according to the report.
Adult film producer Dexter Yamunkeh said "Percy was a little guy with big problems... He was doing well but was under pressure like everyone else in this god damn industry."
In a recent interview Foster, star of X-rated movie Hi-Ho Hi-Ho, It's Up Your A**e We Go, spoke of his excitement about his growing career as Ramsay's double.
"Porn lookalikes get more money than normal actors. Dwarf lookalikes are as rare as hen's teeth and so can command top dollar.
"I've already ordered a new BMW and a diamond-encrusted Soda Stream," he said.
Kindly refrain from forgetting that Sky, Fox, The Sun, The Times etc are THE SAME THING, and the closure of their red-topped Sunday print representative (until a suitable replacement is birthed) does not mean the closure of the operation.
From The Guardian:
News International announced on Thursday that it is closing the News of the World after this Sunday's edition, with no end in sight to the political and commercial fallout from the phone-hacking scandal after 72 hours of mounting crisis
Sunday's edition of the paper will be the last, News International chairman James Murdoch told News of the World staff on Thursday afternoon.
Murdoch told employees at the 167-year-old title: "The News of the World is in the business of holding others to account. But it failed to when it came to itself".
Murdoch said in a statement: "Wrongdoers turned a good newsroom bad and this was not fully understood or adequately pursued."
Murdoch also conceded the company had "made statements to parliament without being in full possession of the facts. This was wrong".
He said "the News of the World and News International wrongly maintained that these issues were confined to one reporter" and that the company had passed information to the police which would demonstrate this.
"Those who acted wrongly will have to face the consequences," he said.
Murdoch also said in his statement to staff that he had authorised out-of-court payments to victims of hacking: "I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so."
He added: "That was wrong and is a matter of serious regret."
It is the first national newspaper to close since Rupert Murdoch shut News International mid-market tabloid Today in 1995.
The News of the World was Rupert Murdoch's first UK newspaper acquisition in 1968 and its profits helped him build his publishing and broadcasting empire in this country and the US.
The title remains the UK's biggest-selling Sunday paper, with a circulation of 2.66m in May this year. In 1962, when the Audit Bureau of Circulations began publishing regular newspaper sales figures, the News of the World was selling 6.66m.
A spokesman for the company would not comment on whether News International will continue to publish a tabloid title on a Sunday.
The News of the World has been NI's most profitable title for many years.
There are already industry rumours that the News of the World's stablemate the Sun could be turned into a seven-day operation. News International has already announced plans to move to seven-day working across its four titles – the Sun, News of the World, the Times and Sunday Times – and the internet domain name thesunonsunday.co.uk was registered two days ago, although the purchaser's identity is unclear.
Murdoch told staff some of them would be leaving the company and said that was a matter of regret. He paid tribute to their "good work"
There will be no adverts in Sunday's edition and any money already received will be donated to good causes.
The closure of the paper is a dramatic move designed to assuage public anger at shocking revelations about the behaviour of its journalists, but it is unlikely that NI's printing presses will be left idle on a Sunday.
Sky News reported that NI chief executive Rebekah Brooks was in tears as she told staff the title is to close.
Labour MP Tom Watson, who has been highlighting the phone-hacking scandal at the paper for two years, said: "Rupert Murdoch did not close the News of the World. It is the revulsion of families up and down the land as to what they got up to. It was going to lose all its readers and it had no advertisers left. They had no choice."
The News of the World, which has averaged about £660,000 in advertising income each weekend so far this year according to industry estimates, was already facing a widespread advertiser boycott on Sunday.
A revolt by advertisers gathered pace in the past 24 hours as Prime Minister David Cameron announced public inquiries into phone hackingand criticism of the paper's activities mounted from politicians and the general public.
There were also the first signs of a possible boycott by readers, with one independent convenience chain admitting on Thursday that it would not be stocking the title in its five stores across Essex and Cambridgeshire. The owner said he took the decision because one of his shops, at Ely station, is close to Soham where Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were murdered.
Earlier this week it was alleged that Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective formerly employed by the paper, may have hacked into the phones of Wells and Chapman's parents.
The number of alleged phone-hacking incidents perpetrated by the paper in years gone by had also continued to grow, with the latest involving families of members of the armed forces killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. More details were also emerging about alleged payments by News of the World journalists to Metropolitan police officers.
Most NoW advertisers, including Sainsbury's, Asda, Dixons, Boots, Specsavers, Ford, Halifax, Co-op and Npower had already pulled their campaigns. It is understood News International only had four left – BSkyB, British Gas, Mars and Tesco.
The decision to close the paper is understood to have come following a meeting on Thursday between executives including Murdoch, who is also the deputy chief operating officer of NI-owner News Corp and oversees the UK business, Brooks, and the publisher's commercial managing director, Paul Hayes.
Rival publishers were said by media buying agency sources to be descending on advertisers like "ambulance chasers" looking to snap up potentially millions in ad revenue from the "toxic" News of the World, with companies responsible for more than £8m in annual spend pulling campaigns in the past 24 hours.
A number of media buying agency executives said they had been inundated with calls from rival publishers querying what the advertisers they represent might be looking to do with their budget.
"It is like ambulance chasing, calls are coming from rivals [newspapers], smaller publishers, radio and outdoor – you name it," said one senior industry source. "The NoW brand is now so toxic that by association clients definitely want out this weekend at least."